Domestic Espresso Machines

This is not a phrase you hear that often among friends (unless you are a tradie, or a golfer, or a …) but let’s talk about your equipment.  What do you use to maintain the caffeine component to your blood stream when all the good coffee shops and cafes have closed (or you just can’t be bothered going out)?

My first coffee machine was purchased with a voucher that my wife and I received at our wedding.  After purchasing copious amounts of tupperware and knives, she graciously allowed me to get a ‘cheap’ machine from Target (I know, I know – I look back in shame) and so I came to have a semi-automatic DéLonghi with an inbuilt milk frother tub on top.  It served me very well for a few years while I learnt more about the wonders of coffee, but I knew that as I wondered from kitchen to kitchen, that my little old DéLonghi (a precursor to the current ECO310W) was only holding my coffee appreciation back.  So, when the milk frother packed it in – in the words of the Lion King’s Rafiki the monkey “It is time!” [As an aside, I sold my old espresso machine for $1 on the weekend at our Moving In Sale]

When not in a cafe, here I can be found

I consulted with Choice Magazine, and joined the forum over at Coffeesnobs.com and even consulted my  coffee guru for his sage advice and for the money that I had available (which wasn’t much) they all agreed that I couldn’t go past the Sunbeam Café Series® EM6910.  I did my research, and found the unit I wanted at nearly $100 less that the RRP that also came with a free  Café Series® Conical Burr Coffee Grinder EM0480. That was two years ago this month, and we couldn’t be happier.  What I like about my machine is that with the trademarked “TPTT™ System of twin pumps and twin thermoblocks” which ensures stable water temperature, it allows me to texture of milk and pour an espresso shot simultaneously – my only criticism of the machine is the lengthy amount of time it takes to texture the milk from fridge temperature into the lows 60s. 

I stopped using the EM0480 after completing a barista training session with Coffeecraft at Glandore, after my suspicions were confirmed that the grinder could not grind anywhere fine enough for an espresso machine.  And after three attempts at making a warranty claim with Sunbeam – who as a solution kept sending me envelopes that contained ONLY two small metal washers – I relegated it to grinding only for french press and dripolator.  This meant that I had to promote my old – yet trusty – Krups GVX2 Grinder that I picked up second hand via Grays Online for $19 – and other than the mess we make together getting the freshly ground beans from its plastic hopper into the group head – it is a great little gadget.

Recently there has been much hullabaloo about the launch of Breville’s new Dual Boiler BES900 Domestic Espresso Machine.  Now Breville is not a name I normally associate with quality electrical goods (they may be good – it is just that I have never had anything made by them before) so I was surprised when Beanscene Magazine dedicated the cover of their June edition to the machine, and then had a multipage review of the machine by Australian Barista Champion Scottie Callaghan (now with Andy Simpkin’s Belaroma Coffee) in their August Edition.  Now I know that money buys editorial and good reviews – I didn’t arrive on the last turnip truck – but does anyone have any first hand knowledge of how the machine works?  Is it worth the hefty price tag of $1499?  Sure, it is pretty enough – but does it make good coffee?

My next step will be to upgrade the quality of my grinder, to perhaps a Mazza Mini Grinder or a Rancilio Rocky, and then when my Sunbeam wears out a new espresso machine…

So, let’s talk about your equipment.  What do you use at home?  Do you recommend it?  What would you really like to get?

Upload a photo of your coffee nook onto the Facebook page, with some information and I’ll post it here.

Life is to short for bad coffee – may your weekend be filled with the good stuff!!

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Posted on October 7, 2011, in BeanScene Magazine, Belaroma Coffee, Domestic Coffee Grinder, Domestic Espresso Machine, Information, News, Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Rancillio – Never missed a beat. Silvia and Rocky serve me faithful four or five times a day. All the best, your guruswami…

  2. You noticed the nod 😉

    I do like your machine – and the pictures of the Rocky on the Rancilio website look great – upload a picture to the FB site!

  3. What stood out for me in your photo was the milk jug holder stand thingy – might have to implement something like that as well. Using a better tamper will make a considerable difference. I’m buying beans (always different and i do buy from various places – i like change) usually on a weekly basis and use mostly use paris creek milk but also flirt with tweedvale and one or 2 others.

  4. The large milk jug (my regular one was in the sink) is hung on an ‘s’ shaped hook from the shelf above – it is part of the “Easy-Build Storage System” that I have used from Howard’s Storage World. Also has a handy towel rail!

    http://www.hsw.com.au/index.php?category&id_cat=10

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